Human exposure to contaminated soils drives clean up criteria at many urban brownfields. Current risk assessment guidelines assume that humans ingest some fraction of soil smaller than 4 mm but have no estimates of what fraction of soil is ingested by humans. Here, we evaluated soil adherence to human hands for 13 agricultural soils from Saskatchewan, Canada and 17 different soils from a brownfield located in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. In addition, we estimated average particle size adhering to human hands for residents of a northern urban setting. Further, we estimated how metal concentrations differed between the adhered and bulk (
Seven electrodialytic experiments were conducted using ammonium citrate as enhancing agent to remediate copper and chromium-contaminated soil from a wood-preservation site. The purpose was to investigate the effect of current density (0.2, 1.0 and 1.5 mA cm(-2)), concentration of enhancing agent (0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 M) and remediation times (21, 42 and 117 d) for the removal of Cu and Cr from a calcareous soil. To gain insight on metal behavior, soil solution was periodically collected using suction cups. It was seen that current densities higher than 1.0 mA cm(-2) did not increase removal and thus using too high current densities can be a waste of energy. Desorption rate is important and both remediation time and ammonium citrate concentration are relevant parameters. It was possible to collect soil solution samples following an adaptation of the experimental set-up to ensure continuous supply of ammonium citrate to the soil in order to keep it saturated during the remediation. Monitoring soil solution gives valuable information on the evolution of remediation and helps deciding when the soil is remediated. Final concentrations in the soil ranged from 220 to 360 mg Cu kg(-1) (removals: 78-86%) and 440-590 mg Cr kg(-1) (removals: 35-51%), being within the 500 mg kg(-1) limit for a clean soil only for Cu. While further optimization is still required for Cr, the removal percentages are the highest achieved so far, for a real Cu and Cr-contaminated, calcareous soil. The results highlight EDR potential to remediate metal polluted soils at neutral to alkaline pH by choosing a good enhancement solution.
One of the serious environmental problems that society is facing today is mine tailings. These byproducts of the process of extraction of valuable elements from ores are a source of pollution and a threat to the environment. For example, mine tailings from past mining activities at Giant Mines, Yellowknife, are deposited in chambers, stopes, and tailing ponds close to the shores of The Great Slave Lake. One of the environmentally friendly approaches for removing heavy metals from these contaminated tailing is by using biosurfactants during the process of soil washing. The objective of this present study is to investigate the effect of sophorolipid (SL) concentration, the volume of washing solution per gram of medium, pH, and temperature on the efficiency of sophorolipids in removing heavy metals from mine tailings. It was found that the efficiency of the sophorolipids depends on its concentration, and is greatly affected by changes in pH, and temperature. The results of this experiment show that increasing the temperature from 15 to 23 °C, while using sophorolipids, resulted in an increase in the removal of iron, copper, and arsenic from the mine tailing specimen, from 0.25, 2.1, and 8.6 to 0.4, 3.3, and 11.7%. At the same time, increasing the temperature of deionized water (DIW) from 15 to 23 °C led to an increase in the removal of iron, copper, and arsenic from 0.03, 0.9, and 1.8 to 0.04, 1.1, and 2.1%, respectively. By increasing temperature from 23 to 35 °C, when using sophorolipids, 22% reduction in the removal of arsenic was observed. At the same time while using DI water as the washing solution, increasing temperature from 23 to 35 °C resulted in 6.2% increase in arsenic removal. The results from this present study indicate that sophorolipids are promising agents for replacing synthetic surfactants in the removal of arsenic and other heavy metals from soil and mine tailings.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are common contaminants in soil at former industrial areas; and in Sweden, some of the most contaminated sites are being remediated. Generic guideline values for soil use after so-called successful remediation actions of PAH-contaminated soil are based on the 16 EPA priority pollutants, which only constitute a small part of the complex cocktail of toxicants in many contaminated soils. The aim of the study was to elucidate if the actual toxicological risks of soil samples from successful remediation projects could be reflected by chemical determination of these PAHs. We compared chemical analysis (GC-MS) and bioassay analysis (H4IIE-luc) of a number of remediated PAH-contaminated soils. The H4IIE-luc bioassay is an aryl hydrocarbon (Ah) receptor-based assay that detects compounds that activate the Ah receptor, one important mechanism for PAH toxicity. Comparison of the results showed that the bioassay-determined toxicity in the remediated soil samples could only be explained to a minor extent by the concentrations of the 16 priority PAHs. The current risk assessment method for PAH-contaminated soil in use in Sweden along with other countries, based on chemical analysis of selected PAHs, is missing toxicologically relevant PAHs and other similar substances. It is therefore reasonable to include bioassays in risk assessment and in the classification of remediated PAH-contaminated soils. This could minimise environmental and human health risks and enable greater safety in subsequent reuse of remediated soils.
Numerous studies report increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) during the last two decades in boreal lakes and streams in Europe and North America. Recently, a hypothesis was presented on how various spatial and temporal factors affect the DOC dynamics. It was concluded that declining sulphur deposition and thereby increased DOC solubility, is the most important driver for the long-term DOC concentration trends in surface waters. If this recovery hypothesis is correct, the DOC levels should increase both in the soil solution as well as in the surrounding surface waters as soil pH rises and the ionic strength declines due to the reduced input of SO(4)(2-) ions. In this project a geochemical model was set up to calculate the net humic charge and DOC solubility trends in soils during the period 1996-2007 at two integrated monitoring sites in southern Sweden, showing clear signs of acidification recovery. The Stockholm Humic Model was used to investigate whether the observed DOC solubility is related to the humic charge and to examine how pH and ionic strength influence it. Soil water data from recharge and discharge areas, covering both podzols and riparian soils, were used. The model exercise showed that the increased net charge following the pH increase was in many cases counteracted by a decreased ionic strength, which acted to decrease the net charge and hence the DOC solubility. Thus, the recovery from acidification does not necessarily have to generate increasing DOC trends in soil solution. Depending on changes in pH, ionic strength and soil Al pools, the trends might be positive, negative or indifferent. Due to the high hydraulic connectivity with the streams, the explanations to the DOC trends in surface waters should be searched for in discharge areas and peat lands.
In the article there is given a hygienic assessment ofpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contamination of soils of the city of Serpukhov of the Moscow region. For the first time there was investigated the PCB's ability to migrate in the system "soil-earthworms", and were calculated bioaccumulation factors at the different level of soil contamination. There was performed a comparative evaluation of the accumulation of given contaminants by higher terrestrial plants and representatives of soil paedobionts (Lumbricidae worms), and revealed clear differences in these processes. There was shown the possibility of the use of earthworms as a highly sensitive bio-indicators in monitoring for soil contamination by persistent organic pollutants, even at low concentrations.
With the use of the method of inversion voltammetry there was analyzed the content of movableforms of trace elements: (selenium, zinc, copper lead, cadmium) in soils in the Yaroslavl district of the Yaroslavl region, and also content of zinc, copper lead, cadmium in soils and snow cover in the city of Yaroslavl. According to values of concentrations of movable compounds in soils determined trace elements can be ranked into the following row: zinc > lead > copper > selenium > cadmium. There was revealed insufficient if compared with literature data concentrations, content of movable compounds of selenium, copper and zinc in examined explored soils. The maximal concentrations of lead are revealed in the close proximity to both the city of Yaroslavl and large highways of the city. It indicates to the anthropogenic pollution of soils by this element.
Historical usage of aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) at military airports is a potential source of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) to the nearby environment. In this study, the distribution of perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in soil, groundwater, surface water, tap water well, and fish muscle was investigated at a closed down military airfield (F18) and its surroundings in Stockholm, Sweden. The presence of PFOS at AFFF training sites was inventoried. One major finding of the study is that a former airfield, abandoned since 1994, may still be a point source of PFAAs to nearby recipients. PFOS and PFOA were ubiquitous in the soil samples at former AFFF training sites with concentrations ranging from 2.18 to 8520ngg(-1) dry weight and
The monitoring of snow cover pollution by heavy metals and elements (zinc, copper, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, chromium, strontium, manganese, fluorine, lithium) was performed in 20 districts of the Moscow region in 2009, 2012 and 2013. The assessment of the levels of contamination by heavy metals and elements was given by means of comparison of them with the average values in the snow cover near Moscow in the end of the last century and in some areas of the world, that no exposed to technological environmental impact. 7 districts of Moscow region were characterized by a high content of lead and cadmium in the snow water. It requires the control of water, soil and agricultural products pollution.
The contamination of agricultural areas by heavy metals has a negative influence on food quality and human health. Various remediation techniques have been developed for the removal and/or immobilization of heavy metals (HM) in contaminated soils. Phytoremediation is innovative technology, which has advantages (low cost, easy monitoring, high selectivity) and limitations, including long time for procedure and negative impact of contaminants on used plants. Greenhouse investigations have shown that monosilicic acid can be used for regulation of the HM (Cd, Cr, Pb and Zn) mobility in the soil-plant system. If the concentration of monosilicic acid in soil was increased from 0 to 20 mg L(-1) of Si in soil solution, the HM bioavailability was increased by 30-150%. However, the negative influence on the barley by HM was reduced under monosilicic acid application. If the concentration of monosilicic acid was increased more than 20 mg L(-1), the HM mobility in the soil was decreased by 40-300% and heavy metal uptake by plants was reduced 2-3 times. The using of the monosilicic acid may increase the phytoremediation efficiency. However the technique adaptation will be necessary for phytoremediation on certain areas.